# STDEV.S

The `STDEV.S` formula calculates the standard deviation of a sample of data. It is commonly used to measure the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of values from their average. This formula accepts up to 255 arguments, which can be numbers, arrays, or references that contain numbers. The result is a measure of how spread out the data is, with a larger standard deviation indicating greater variability.

## Usage

Use the `STDEV.S` formula with the syntax shown below, it has 1 required parameter and 1 optional parameter:

Parameters:
1. value1 (required):
The first value or range of values to include in the calculation of the standard deviation.
2. value2, ... (optional):
Additional values or ranges of values to include in the calculation of the standard deviation. Up to 254 additional arguments can be provided.

## Examples

Here are a few example use cases that explain how to use the `STDEV.S` formula in Google Sheets.

### Measuring variability in test scores

A teacher wants to measure the variability of test scores for a class of 30 students. She enters the scores into Google Sheets and uses the `STDEV.S` formula to calculate the standard deviation. This allows her to see how much the scores deviate from the average and identify any outliers or patterns in the data.

### Assessing risk in investment portfolios

An investor wants to assess the risk of different investment portfolios based on their past performance. She uses the `STDEV.S` formula to calculate the standard deviation of returns for each portfolio. This helps her to determine which portfolios have a higher risk and which ones are more stable.

### Evaluating the precision of scientific measurements

A scientist wants to evaluate the precision of a set of measurements taken in an experiment. She uses the `STDEV.S` formula to calculate the standard deviation of the measurements. This allows her to determine how much the measurements deviate from the true value and estimate the uncertainty of the results.

## Common Mistakes

`STDEV.S` not working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the `STDEV.S` Google Sheets Formula:

### Forgetting to convert data to numbers

The `STDEV.S` function only works with numerical data, so if you have text or other non-numeric data in the range, it will return an error. Make sure to convert any non-numeric data to numbers before using the function.

### Using the wrong range

Make sure that the range you provide to the `STDEV.S` function includes all the values you want to include in the calculation. If you accidentally select the wrong range, you will get an incorrect result.

### Incorrectly assuming a population

The `STDEV.S` function assumes that the range you provide is a sample of a larger population, and adjusts the calculation accordingly. If you are working with the entire population, you should use the `STDEV.P` function instead.

The following functions are similar to `STDEV.S` or are often used with it in a formula:

• `AVERAGE`

The AVERAGE function calculates the average (arithmetic mean) of the values passed to it. It is commonly used to find the average of a range of cells containing numerical data.

• `MAX`

The `MAX` function returns the maximum value from a range of cells or a set of supplied values. It is commonly used to find the largest value in a dataset.

• `MIN`

The `MIN` formula is a statistical function that returns the smallest value in a set of numbers. It is commonly used to find the minimum value from a range of cells or a list of values.

• `COUNT`

The `COUNT` formula returns the number of numeric values within a specified range of cells. It is commonly used to count the number of entries in a given range that meet specific criteria, such as counting the number of sales above a certain threshold.

• `SUM`

The `SUM` function in Google Sheets adds up a range of numbers. This function is most commonly used to sum the values in a range of cells.

You can learn more about the `STDEV.S` Google Sheets function on Google Support.